Categories
online meetings

Zoom treats you like a child

This post originally appeared on the Team.Video blog.

Deeply ingrained in Zoom’s defaults are choices that do not encourage us to expect the best from each other. We spend such vast amounts of time in video meetings now that we should question what behaviors our platforms are driving us to, and how they affect our interactions with our friends, family, and colleagues at work.

“Waiting for the host to start the meeting”

This message can be infuriating. The host is on vacation, or they’re in a car somewhere, or they’re there but having trouble logging in. Or worse, everyone wonders, who is the host of this meeting, anyway? Is it me? Am I holding us back at this moment? For God’s sake, when will we be able to get on with the actual work we have to do?

And really, why can’t we just carry on without the host? Of course if you go into all the right admin screens and click all the right buttons, you can turn this off, but since it is the default, this experience inevitably creeps in.

Categories
online meetings

Dancing with himself: Beauty and tragedy at a kindergarten Zoom dance party

This post originally appeared on the Team.Video blog.

My five year old had a dance party with some other kindergarteners from his class at his school, and in some ways it was just brilliant.

He’s been a real trooper during the lockdown. Every morning he watches the video lessons his teachers have uploaded the night before. He prints out the day’s worksheets, and always dutifully gets through them. He says he actually doesn’t even mind staying inside so much, as he has declared himself to be an “indoor person.”

But it has been rough for him not to be able to just hang out and be silly with his friends every now and again, like kids need to do. When we learned his whole crew was feeling lonely, the idea to have a zoom dance party was floated, and immediately well-received by all.